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Shooting from the quip

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It was inevitable and it happened. India has been obliterated by Australia. Here are some excerpts from the post-match media interview with captain cool, Dhoni:

How do you feel after being handed a 4-0 whitewash for the second successive time?

Yes, of course I feel disappointed. I hate even numbers less than equal to 4. 5-0 would have been better I think. And please guys, I am only responsible for 3-0, keep 1 for Veeru people.

Should Laxman retire? What is your opinion?

Well, Laxman is a legend and I feel very sad people are talking about him like this. I personally feel sorry for him. Which modern day cricketer wants to retire without appearing in a single ad? Even after scoring the match winning knock of 281 he was not considered for a single advertisement. He is not alone, though, even Kumble also did not get a single ad (even after shaving his moustache and of course his 10 wickets in an innings). He was also especially distraught when he overheard me, Virat and Rohit discussing and finding out that the reason for not inviting him for go karting was because he was too old. He has been seriously contemplating retirement since then.

What about Dravid’s sudden transition from The Wall to the Gateway of India and rumours of his retirement doing the rounds?

As far as Dravid’s loss of technique is concerned, it is partially my fault. Everybody knows how immensely popular my Helicopter shot is but I was not aware it could be a technique destroyer. Rahul wanted to learn it and I taught him. The minor modifications he made to his game lead to a subtle crack appearing in his wall. The Australian bowlers repeatedly managed to hit the crack and after the gaping hole was created it was difficult to fill. As far as Rahul goes he has had his full share of advertisements in his cricketing career right from the Jammy ads to the Gillette one in which he got to shave his beard with none other than Federer himself – gosh even I am not that lucky! He should retire now!

What is the mood in the dressing room regarding Sachin’s imminent 100th ton?

Yes, of course we have taken very stringent measures to ensure that he is not affected by all the excitement, anticipation and criticism. We have banned the use of any sort of media in the dressing room except for the one unfortunate day when while watching TV we saw Marcus Baghdatis breaking six tennis rackets. Sachin, however, has been very cool about the landmark. The only exceptions I can recall are the one in which he woke up one day very excited, ran around celebrating his century and slept back AND the other one the very next day after the Baghdatis incident where he was alone in his room and we heard noises of something breaking and when we reached there were four bats lying beaten and battered in the ground.

On a more positive note, the form of youngsters like Kohli, Ashwin and Umesh Yadav has been satisfactory especially Kohli who went on to score a century in the last test although he had a scratchy start. What do you think?

Yes absolutely. They are the future of Indian cricket. But nobody knows that after the second test, it was my brilliant idea to invite Andre Nel, the mean South African fast bowling machine to provide stress buster (and Aussie crowd cursing) tips to Kohli. He has also taken our advice of leaving the ball so much that nowadays he forgets to catch balls in practice and has injured his fingers very often especially his middle finger. After the stress buster sessions he has fared quite well as you already know. Ashwin on the other hand has competed well with Nathan Lyon who is the next best off spinner in Australia after Nathan Hauritz. He should be on his toes though as I heard rumours that Bhajji is back in form after clean bowling a couple of wrestlers in his reality show! And of course we want Umesh to retain his speed and accuracy and try his best not to become fast spinners like many previous Indian pace bowling stalwarts.

Do you think India can ever beat good teams overseas? This series must have dented the confidence of the team.

Yes why not. We will bounce back. In fact we just defeated England 4-0 yesterday. Don’t be surprised. You can ask Gautam. He is now planning to defeat Australia also today evening I guess. He is taking out all frustration by beating teams overseas in fully swinging and seaming conditions in green tops. Still confused? It is Cricket 2009 by Codemasters – recommended for all Indian cricket fans for beating the hell out of teams till our next test series.

Don’t you feel ashamed? In Dubai, Misbah’s Pakistan has just won the test series against England?

Why should I feel ashamed? I am happy for him. I called and congratulated him yesterday. After all we could not have won the World Cup without his unnecessary calm innings could we?

Okay. What form of preparation do you think is required before the next test series? Should it be Domestic cricket improvement, preparing sporting pitches at home, slowly phasing out seniors or changing the coach?

All the above suggested items are worthless. Just two days back I remembered an extremely foolproof method of success which had been implemented by one of my friends.  I have suggested this brilliant concept to the team management. The idea is to make the team watch a movie like ”Love Story 2050”, “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom” or a repeat telecast of any Hindi daily soap before the next test series and threaten them that if they come even close to repeating the performance shown in England or Australia they would be forced to watch it every day.   The performance would improve immediately! What do you think? 


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